Mar 14, 2013 News
“The influence of narcotics trafficking is evident in the political and criminal justice systems”
… assets earned through corruption not being seized
The United States government has again called for Guyana to act against corrupt money.
“The United States looks forward to tangible progress on…enforcement of laws against money laundering and financial crimes,” states the recently released 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR).
The report stated that as a matter of policy, the Government of Guyana does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.
However, the report said that while Guyana is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, it has not fully implemented provisions, “such as the seizure of property obtained through corruption.”
The report mainly dealt with drug trafficking and pointed to the illicit drug trafficking as having the potential to undermine key institutions in the country.
“The influence of narcotics trafficking is evident in the political and criminal justice systems,” the report stated.
It identified Guyana as a transit country for cocaine destined for the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and West Africa.
According to the report, cocaine originating in Colombia is smuggled to Venezuela and onward to Guyana by sea or air.
The value of cocaine seized by Guyanese authorities in 2011 totaled US$42 million.
The report noted that the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act of 2009, the Interception of Communications Bill, and the Criminal Procedure Bill were designed to enhance the investigative capabilities of law enforcement authorities and prosecutors to convict drug traffickers. However, the report noted, to date, the government has sought no prosecutions under these laws.
The report noted that the government is drafting anti-gang legislation and developing an Integrated Crime Information System to monitor trends in crime through a network linking the Ministry of Home Affairs to the public hospitals, prisons, and police stations.
The report pointed to the US Caribbean Basin Security Initiative that forms the central nexus for the United States government’s security and law enforcement relationship with Guyana, with its goals of reducing illicit trafficking, increasing public security; and promoting social justice.
Efforts to increase law enforcement capabilities, strengthen workforce development, and promote anti-money laundering effectiveness directly address priority concerns for Guyana and the United States, the report noted.
CBSI-funded programmes support Guyana’s maritime operations by providing interdiction assets, including riverain patrol boats that will be delivered this year and relevant command and control systems, as well as associated logistical support and training.
Initiatives also target law enforcement professionalization, forensics, and more effective narcotics investigations.
In 2012, the United States provided port and maritime training to Guyana’s Coast Guard, including in container inspection, port security and leadership development.
By strengthening Guyana’s counter-narcotics capabilities, the report noted, the United States seeks to enhance interagency coordination and help gather better intelligence on drug trafficking routes.
The United States has encouraged the government to deepen mutual security and law enforcement cooperation.
“The United States looks forward to tangible progress on investigations, prosecutions, extraditions, security sector and judicial capacity enhancement, the engagement of at-risk communities, and enforcement of laws against money laundering and financial crimes.”
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